ADHD Made Me Do It

Survive Life with Laughter

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

on March 17, 2014

st patty's day no name No I’m not Irish, but I have lived there briefly and felt I owed a little shout out…and to recognize it was the luck of moving to Ireland that eventually landed me in England which brought me some great experiences and success. So, how did I end up in Ireland?

It all starts with my adhd feeling bored with itchy feet and needing a change. I had been working at a group home with semi-independent mental health-issued teenagers, and on a weekend shift was scoping out new job prospects reading the Toronto Star.  There it was…the ad to work in Ireland at a fluffy residential program for teenagers, and they would even cover the cost of accommodations and pay for a flight back to Canada after 6 months. I impulsively jumped on the opportunity, completed a resume and submitted it within the week.  Then I tried to research all about the new place – Ballydowd Special Care Unit – but there was nothing really to be found (I even tried to visit the place on my first ever trip to England, but they wouldn‘t answer my email requests). Yes you are correct in thinking it’s a bit ass backwards…perhaps if I had tried to research before applying I may not have applied, but then I couldn’t proudly hail my “everything happens for a reason”!
Finally I got a response, an interview date for March 2001 at a Downtown Toronto Hotel. This is for real now, a legitimate opportunity somewhere new with something different that could be mine.  I practiced and practiced for that interview, which is rare since I usually do things on the fly at the last minute.  I researched every winning style and technique out there and even bought a whole new outfit with shoes and make up and all (no it’s wasn’t the look in the pic). Needless to say I rocked the interview, I was offered and accepted the job and started making my arrangements to move across the vast Ocean – arriving in Ireland in August 2001.
I probably should’ve been a little concerned when I got into the taxi and he didn’t know where the facility address was (he said there is nothing but open field at that address), or concerned when we finally did find the place in a hidden away area, it looked like a prison with big gates and a ginormously tall green perimeter fence.  Well, now I’m stuck here…with 16 other Canadians, 3 Finnish, and 5 British…and have to make the best of it despite continued downward spiral.

I move into a beautiful house with 2 other Canadians and a Finnish lady (Liinu, the Finnish roomie, was super awesome; the Canadians were not as Canadian friendly like in the end).  The house was on a quiet suburbanized area where the neighbours regularly take their horses for a ride on the sidewalk – yes it was a real live horse and no I wasn’t smoking or drinking anything at the time!

Then, September 11th happens…I’m sure everyone else remembers where they were…I was in training and the group of us thought it was a preview to a new terrorist type movie! As I was the only brown person in the facility (and not sure how many brown people in the country really) I was little concerned for my safety. I have to say the Irish were amazing, never a racist remark from the adults in the facility, the town or the country during my travels.  The only real “racist comment” was from the one teenager who thought I was Osama’s fiancé and requested I call him on his cell phone to help with escaping…I did play that up a little until the teen whipped a bowl at my head and I quickly stopped the fun and games.
I was growing to like the country, but losing hope the job would get better.  Despite the facility cluster-f#ck, Dublin itself was very beautiful, and the whole experience was definitely something different in a positive way. In this foreign country I learned: of their public transport system, the normalcy of running across a 6 lane motorway to get to work from the bus stop, that downtown Dublin is separated by a massive river Liffy (I don’t actually remember if that is separated north/south or east/west), and a dime in currency doesn’t exist but a dime in drug terms is consistent across the globe!

Through-out my stay in Ireland, I visited England regularly….thanks to RyanAir, it only cost 25 quid return and was like an hour flight.  During one of my trips, I learned that I am a British Citizen – my father hooked that up for me with his naturalizing in Britain over 40 years ago – and so I got a British passport and with my itchy feet moved on again to England.
Even though I only spent a 6 month exciting residency in Ireland, I have total appreciation and respect for the country and the people…and made a few trips back to visit friends and drive round Dingle bay. I don’t actually dress up every March 17th, but St Patrick’s Day seemed the best way to pay tribute to my Irish friends…and so on that note: I say thanks for reading and….

“May The Road Rise Up To Meet You”!


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